The world’s fastest ultra-luxury saloon just got faster. Bentley’s new and improved flagship, the Mulsanne Speed, is not only faster than its predecessor but also surprisingly more fuel efficient.
Like the firm’s two-door GT V8 S, the Mulsanne Speed sports a 6.75 liter twin-turbo V8. But the similarities to the GT end when comparing power specs. The Mulsanne’s reworked powertrain now develops a stump-pulling 811 lb.ft of torque (vs 502 lb.ft) and horsepower figures to the tune of 530 bhp. While still not as fast as Bentley’s Continental GT Speed the sizable saloon (we are talking about a car that weighs 3,200 kg / 7,055 lb) is still good for a 0-60 (96 km/h) time of 4.8 seconds.
The new Mulsanne Speed is capable of hitting a leisurely top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h) when called upon. But even though torque figures are ridiculously high, the crew at Crewe somehow still managed to increase fuel efficiency of the ultra-fast sedan by 13 percent. Power to the Speed’s rear wheels is managed by a custom tuned ZF 8-speed gearbox with wheel-mounted paddleshifters, which Bentley recalibrated to provide faster power delivery when requested. A new “S” mode is designed to keep the engine revving above 2,000 rpm so the saloon’s twin-turbochargers are in a more ready state and less susceptible to lag.
A reconfigured suspension arrangement gives drivers the luxury ride they expect when cruising. However, when more enhanced driving is required, the car’s all-round air suspension system can be engaged to reduce and control body roll. At the same time, the Mulsanne’s steering-on-demand system adjusts steering feedback, delivering a more precise experience.
Steering, chassis and engine tuning can further customized by the driver through the car’s Custom mode program.
But while insane torque figures are nice, it’s the inside of the Mulsanne that draws the crowds. The bespoke penthouse-on-wheels features all the requisite luxury items. From diamond quilted hide door panels and seats, to a coined finish on interior door handles to indented hide headlining and embroidered Bentley emblems on the seats, the Mulsanne’s interior has more in common Montenegro-based yachts than most daily commuter offerings. Customers can choose from 24 different leather hide colors and 10 veneers as standard.
The Mulsanne Speed’s exterior has also been redesigned with what Bentley calls more aggressive styling elements. Ignoring the Speed’s big bulbous butt and colossal fenders, details like its new directional 21 inch wheels and customized grille do give the car a somewhat more assertive look.
We'll take a closer look at the Mulsanne Speed when it's unveiled at the Paris Motor Show on October 2. Deliveries are expected this (Northern hemisphere) winter with prices starting from £252,000 (US$413,000).